Only the fittest solutions survive in America’s policy wilderness.
Right now, we’re witnessing history in the making. Current events are affecting the energy industry unlike anything we’ve seen since the OPEC oil embargo in 1973 and the Three Mile Island accident in 1979. And this time, it’s happening all at once.
Consider: the Arab spring has raised America’s energy security concerns to a new level. Despite assurances from OPEC members that they’ll make up for any lost Libyan oil production, instability is spreading across the region and creating anxiety in the world petroleum market. As a result, oil prices now exceed $110 a barrel, and gasoline prices are projected to reach $4.25 a gallon by Memorial Day—just in time for summer vacation.
At the same time, fallout from the Fukushima-Daiichi disaster is spreading across the globe—literally and figuratively. Radio isotopes have appeared in rain and snowfall from Europe to the arctic. And countries from China to America have reacted to the disaster by putting the brakes on their nuclear plant licensing and development plans (see “Seismic Omen”). If it doesn’t end the nuclear renaissance, the Fukushima disaster has surely knocked it backwards by several years or more.